SANTA MONICA – The Pacific Ocean supplies a bounty of fresh fish for those people who love to get their fish on. As the weather begins to cool down and the harsh California (ha ha) winter is fast approaching, Santa Monicans and visitors to our fair city crave a little comfort food.
After walking on the boardwalk at the Santa Monica Pier of riding your bike along the coast, there is nothing better than going to Santa Monica Seafood on Wilshire Boulevard to get a spicy seafood soup, aka, Cioppino.
The Cioppino at Santa Monica Seafood is served with crispy crostini bread that is lightly smeared with fresh garlic and olive oil. The Cioppino is overflowing with fresh mussels, clams, shrimp, and whitefish. The soup is a thickly blended tomato, white wine, garlic, and onion base that is perfect for dipping the hot crostini.
If you’re unable to handle real spice, the regular Cioppino has minimal heat and is easier on those delicate tummies. But, if you’re not afraid to turn up the heat a notch or two, ask the helpful waitstaff to add additional red pepper to the soup base.
The Cioppino is pretty large. If you split an appetizer, share the Cioppino, and have dessert, you will be satisfied with the amount of food and the price too.
Santa Monica Seafood caters to a local crowd and usually gets pretty busy around 6 or 7 PM. If the line is long and you have to wait for a table to open, you can always belly-up to the bar, down a few fresh oysters, have a California pinot noir, or a beer from a favorite micro-brewery.
Trust me, the wait will be worth it.